Can You Build a Professional Document Library in WordPress?
Web&Tech

Can You Build a Professional Document Library in WordPress?

Organizing and managing documents can be pretty difficult – especially if you’re running a WordPress website that stores lots of information. Ideally, you want an easy, dynamic solution that makes documents accessible and searchable through a front-end interface.

Having a dynamic, functional document library on your WordPress website lets you share resources within your organization, create a publications database, and much more.

Here, we’ll cover the key benefits of having a professional WordPress document library on your website and take a look at how different organizations use document libraries on their websites. We’ll also show you how you can build your own document library system in WordPress.

Let’s begin.

Benefits of Having a WordPress Document Library on Your Website

Can You Build a Professional Document Library in WordPress?

Having a document library on your WordPress website can be incredibly beneficial for your organization. You can use them to list all sorts of files and documents such as presentation slides, spreadsheets, PDFs, text files, and more in a searchable, sortable table layout.

Your site’s users are able to search the document library to find what they’re looking for in a number of ways including (1) using the search bar, (2) sorting documents based on specific columns (such as author name or date), and (3) filtering them based on categories and tags.

Once the user finds the document they’re looking for, they have the option to view it online, edit it in Google Docs, or download it to their computer. In addition to this, here are a few more reasons why you might consider adding a document library to your company’s WordPress website:

  • Keep documents and files organized. With WordPress, you’re able to organize documents the same way you would organize blog posts i.e. using categories, tags, and custom taxonomies. This way, when you generate a table layout to list your documents in, you’ll be able to search for them based on the data you used to organize them.
  • Share, distribute, and collect resources internally. Document management systems make it easy for organizations to share and distribute documents with internal teams. In addition to this, you can also set up a system that allows users to add documents to the document library from the front-end.
  • Improve document accessibility. Making it easy for team members to access documents from a centralized location eliminates the need to request access to documents over and over again.

How Do Organizations Use Document Libraries?

Can You Build a Professional Document Library in WordPress?

Organizations that store extensive amounts of documents or need to make documents and files available to team members (or audiences) need a way to organize and list documents on their WordPress websites. Some organizations use them to store documents on private staff intranets (or virtual data rooms) while others may decide to make them public.

Document libraries make it easy to create all sorts of information-intensive resources. For instance, if you’re selling some sort of software, you could use a document library to create a knowledge base. A company’s sales department might consider using a WordPress document library to store marketing collateral that the sales team can access on the go. Law firms might use a document library to showcase their publications.

Building a Professional WordPress Document Library

Can You Build a Professional Document Library in WordPress?

Document and file management systems aren’t new to WordPress. The only problem is that most of them create document libraries in the WordPress back-end, through the Media Library. This is a very limited way to manage documents, and is not user-friendly for your team.

The good news is that you can build a custom document library for your WordPress website using the Posts Table Pro plugin. The document library:

  1. Will be accessible from your site’s front-end.
  2. Will appear in a searchable, sortable, and filterable table layout.
  3. Lets you decide which columns you’d like to display e.g. document image, title, author, and date.
  4. Allows users to view the document in the browser, download a PDF or other file type to their computer, or link to it in Google Docs (or any other platform).

Barn2 Media have published a complete step by step tutorial on How to Create a WordPress Document Library with Posts Table Pro. It covers how to store documents on your website, add them to a document library, display the library on your site’s front-end, and (optionally) make it private for your organization’s staff.

Conclusion

With the right tools and instructions, building a document library for your WordPress website should be simple.

Having a functional, front-end document library on your WordPress website is a great way to keep your documents and files organized, make them accessible to staff members, and create all kinds of information-intensive resources.

How would you use a document library on your WordPress website? And what are some of the features you look for in a document management plugin? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!